Author: Douglas Preston
Publisher: Grand Central, 2008
Spezi didn't immediately understand. "He took her vagina away? Where?" As soon as the question was out he realized how stupid it sounded.Synopsis: In the nonfiction tradition of John Berendt ("Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil") and Erik Larson ("The Devil in the White City"), New York Times bestselling author Douglas Preston presents a gripping account of crime and punishment in the lush hills surrounding Florence, Italy. — In 2000, Douglas Preston fulfilled a dream to move his family to Italy.
"It's simply not there anymore. He took it away with him."
Then he discovered that the olive grove in front of their 14th century farmhouse had been the scene of the most infamous double-murders in Italian history, committed by a serial killer known as the Monster of Florence. Preston, intrigued, meets Italian investigative journalist Mario Spezi to learn more. This is the true story of their search for--and identification of--the man they believe committed the crimes, and their chilling interview with him. And then, in a strange twist of fate, Preston and Spezi themselves become targets of the police investigation. Preston has his phone tapped, is interrogated, and told to leave the country. Spezi fares worse: he is thrown into Italy's grim Capanne prison, accused of being the Monster of Florence himself. Like one of Preston's thrillers, The Monster Of Florence, tells a remarkable and harrowing story involving murder, mutilation, and suicide-and at the center of it, Preston and Spezi, caught in a bizarre prosecutorial vendetta.
Review: This is a chilling True Crime novel, told by two men, one who lived through the crimes and one who happened upon them later. Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi spent innumerable hours trying to find the facts behind the killings by the Monster of Florence.
I found their suspect to be completely believable and quite probably the guilty party. But the government, from the police, to the judges, to the mayor didn't believe. The man who killed all of these couples is still walking free while several men have served time for crimes they didn't commit.
Beyond the obvious murders, there is an entire dark tale of political figures using a horrible crime to better their positions. It's scary and makes me glad I live in America and not Italy....and, then again, makes me wonder if it would have really turned out any differently either way. Blind greed and the need to be right are assuredly not just Italian traits.
At the end, this book forces you to question your ideas of justice in a whole new light....and to realize, in the end justice isn't always served even by those sworn to uphold it.
Rating: 7.5 / 10